tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC October 26, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
tonight on "world news" from california, power play. one week before the voters decide, we take you inside a pulse-pounding race. and why did bill clinton say to us he's never seen anything like this before? we also fact check the campaign claims about immigration. midwest monster. the most powerful storm in decades, as midwest travel is tied in knots. auto action. ford turns in a dazzling profit, ready to create jobs. and, wise words. some iconic women pass on the best advice they were ever given. good evening from california and long beach, the intersection, tonight, of power,
politics and passion, as 30,000 people gathered right here today and you'll hear from some of the trail blazing speakers later in the broadcast. but we begin with the crucial countdown. next week at this time, it will be election day. and control of the house and senate is at stake. our senior political correspondent jon karl tells us what he's seeing tonight. big changes, any surprises? jon? >> reporter: well, diane, with just seven days to go, more democrats tonight are in danger of losing than at any point in the campaign. but several of the top races are now closer than they have ever been. democrats are looking for a little help from the comeback kid. >> and i personally believe both the president and the congress have done a better job than most people think they have done. >> reporter: we caught up with president clinton as he rallied embattled democrats in chicago. how bad do you fear it could be? >> i don't fear or not. i think it depends on how bad we want it. if we want it bad enough to go out there and work for it, we'll get it. >> reporter: he told us he's never seen so many close races
in an election year. >> it's what happened in '94. you get in, you want to do things. there's almost an inverse relationship in how much you can accomplish and what people know about it. >> reporter: democrats are most endangered in the house, where tonight, the latest abc news estimate shows 107 democratic seats in jeopardy, with 64 of those either leaning republican or pure toss up. republicans only need 39 to win the house. the race for senate is tighter and uglier. in kentucky, a volunteer for republican rand paul's campaign stomped on the head of a liberal activist who tried to confront mr. paul. perhaps no race is as close as the battle for the president's old senate seat in illinois. >> what an amazing signal it would send to take the barack obama seat and make it the mark kirk seat. i present to you your next united states senator, mark kirk. >> reporter: republican mark kirk has hit democrat alexi giannoulias relentlessly over some of the shady characters who
got loans at his family's bank. >> blagojevich, rezko and the mob. alexi giannoulias. he'd make tony soprano proud. >> reporter: how do you close the deal? >> i think it's closing. >> reporter: yeah? >> yeah. because i think -- this is an economic vote. >> i love you and you got my whole family's vote. >> reporter: giannoulias talks the economy, too, warning against a return to failed republican policies. why it is a tough year for democrats, even here in illinois? >> people are struggling. they're losing their jobs. they're losing their homes. they're scared and concerned, rightfully so. >> reporter: back on the rope line, bill clinton told us to look at the bright side. >> we're getting there. president is getting out and around and i see a lot more intensity at these rallies now in the last three weeks. so, i think it would be a great mistake to count us out. reports of our demise have been exaggerated. >> reporter: abc news has learned that both the president and the first lady will appear in an ad tomorrow airing here in illinois for alexi giannoulias. diane, this is the first time that both of them have appeared
in one ad during this campaign. >> it is certainly a sign of what's happening there, jon, as you reported, of course. at the top of the list of voter concerns, the economy, and jobs. but there is another issue stirring up voters, and it's immigration. since candidates have said diametrically opposite things, jake tapper is here with the "world news" fact check. >> reporter: on univision radio this week, president obama told the largely hispanic audience of listeners this -- >> i'm going to keep my promise on immigration reform. >> reporter: activists say the president's only explicit immigration promise was made when he was running for president. >> we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that i strongly support and that i'm promoting. >> reporter: did the president keep that promise? no. there has not been an immigration bill that he strongly supported and promoted. on the airwaves, republicans are attacking democrats records on immigration reform. >> we might as well put out a welcome sign for illegal aliens. >> reporter: sometimes with
crude caricatures. such as this one, from republican senator david vitter of louisiana about his opponent. >> melancon voted to make it easier for illegals to get taxpayer-funded benefits. >> reporter: or this from nevada republican sharron angle about hers. >> he votes to give special tax breaks to illegal aliens. >> reporter: did either democrat support giving these benefits to illegal immigrants? no. in california, democratic gubernatorial candidate jerry brown tells spanish radio listeners that meg whitman supports arizona's immigration law. does whitman support that law? >> i said, i did not think the arizona law was right for california. >> reporter: no. twisting facts in a different language does not make them true. jake tapper, abc news, the white house. >> and, one other political note from here in california tonight, republican senate challenger carly fiorina was admitted to the hospital today. an infection from reconstructive
surgery after breast cancer. fiorina locked in a tight race with incumbent democratic senator barbara boxer. and, we turn next to the furious fall storm that has slammed into the middle of the country. the powerful system delivering a dangerous mix of high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes. take a look, storm clouds tearing across illinois, and just to the north of there, barbara pinto is in chicago, where hundreds of flights have been grounded at o'hare. >> reporter: the massive storm unleashed its fury with torrential rain, near-hurricane force wind and at least a half dozen tornadoes. one of them took direct aim at the schroeder family's home in peotone, illinois. >> it was like a bomb went off. you didn't hear the tornado. they say it sounds like a freight train. you heard a little whistle and there was an explosion of glass everywhere. >> reporter: near chicago, a toppled tree crushed this car, impaling the driver. she survived.
this rare and dangerous mix of high winds and low pressure spawned weather warnings from the plains to pennsylvania. 50 to 60-mile-per-hour gusts expected to threatened nearly a million square miles. >> the storm pushing across the great lakes will probably be the second strongest storm of all time to push into this part of the country. >> reporter: the clash of warm and cold air over the nation's midsection -- some have called a "great lakes cyclone" -- muscled its way through wisconsin, battering illinois and missouri, trapping morning commuters in a tangle of toppled trucks, snapped trees and downed power lines. high winds are delaying repairs for the hundreds of thousands left in the dark. in louisville, tornado sirens blared, and at chicago's o'hare airport, tempers flared. >> my next flight is in nine hours. >> reporter: high winds cancelled hundreds of flights at the midwest's major hub, and delayed hundreds more as this historic storm and its misery move east.
now, the rain has moved through here, but the trouble, as you can see, is far from over. these storm-force winds are expected to do damage here in illinois through new york overnight and into tomorrow. diane? >> winds really whipping up there, barbara, thanks to you. and we have some good news out of the midwest tonight. dearborn, michigan, to be exact. one of the most spectacular turnaround stories in the history of american business. today, the ford motor company said it made a third quarter profit of $1.7 billion. it's ford's sixth straight quarter in profit. and the company promised more growth and jobs to come. what's ford's secret? here's chris bury. >> reporter: the motor city, so hammered in the downturn, is seeing glimpses of a comeback. today, chad maks, who left michigan to find work in texas, is back home, now that ford is hiring again. >> i think everyone is pretty excited. the mood here is great. >> reporter: ford's adding 1,200 jobs at seven plants, thanks, in
part, to michigan taxpayers. today, all three detroit automakers got state tax breaks worth more than $2 billion to help create thousands of new jobs. >> the risk is if they don't offer these incentives, that other states will and these jobs will go elsewhere. >> reporter: less than two years after the entire auto industry was teetering on the edge, all that tax money, state and federal, has helped turn it around. ford, the only automaker not to take the federal bailout money, leads the way. its biggest seller? big pickup trucks like the ones contractors use, maybe a sign of good news for us all. what does it tell you that you're seeing such a big uptick in your truck sales? >> that we're seeing a gradual recovery in the economy. >> reporter: because people are using those trucks for work? >> absolutely. >> reporter: ford shed brands, shut factories and slashed payrolls, so it could make more money selling far fewer cars. >> we were in survival mode. we had a plan to deal with that. we've come through this horrible
recession and we kept investing in the future. >> reporter: so, workers like chad maks and thousands of others are on their way back from the brink. >> excited to be home and excited to have a job that i know i can stay here and have the stability with ford motor company. this is it. this is home, you know? and we're not going anywhere. we're here to stay. >> reporter: confident, at last, they have a ford in their future. chris bury, abc news, chicago. and overseas tonight, a string of disasters in indonesia, showing why that dangerous part of the pacific earned the name "ring of fire." a powerful 7.7 earthquake struck off the coast of sumatra, setting off a deadly tsunami along the same fault as the one in 2004. this one was a ten-foot wave. rescuers having a hard time reaching victims on remote islands. and in the path of the raging wave, an australian charter boat captain. >> the wave picked that boat up and just brought it towards us
and ran straight into us and our boat exploded, caught on fire and we had a fireball on the back deck. >> at least 113 people have been killed in the tsunami. hundreds more are missing. and more destruction in indonesia, mt. merapi is roaring. a deadly eruption has sent thousands racing from the smoke and ash and experts watching it say if merapi hasn't already let off enough steam, there is a potential for a much bigger blast. at least 18 people have been killed by the eruption of a 9,700-foot-tall mountain. and still ahead on "world news," a big recall of luxury cars, after chris cuomo and his abc news investigation. and, wisdom, from two women. what did they learn that they want everyone to know? [ male announcer ] this is rachel, a busy mom.
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that new healthcare law sure sounds good for all of us on medicare. starting next year, we'll get free check-ups, cancer screenings, lower prescription costs. and better ways to protect us and medicare from fraud, so it will stay strong for our kids and grandkids. now, that's music to my ears. ♪ the german automaker bmw announced a recall of more than 150,000 luxury cars, due to mechanical failure, faulty fuel pumps. a recall that came after a month-long abc news investigation, reported on "gma" this morning and led by "20/20" anchor chris cuomo and his team. the investigation began when a viewer stopped chris on the street to tell him about a frightening and sudden loss of power.
he has more now. >> reporter: around the country, bmw owners are reporting frightening experiences where the cars suddenly slow down, even in highway traffic. >> shaking. backfiring. we were scared out of our minds. >> you almost feel like you're losing control of the car. >> reporter: bmw told regular regulators back in 2008 that certain models may "lose power while driving" or go into what they call "limp" or "safe" mode because of a malfunctioning fuel pump. but there were no safety issues. and because of that, bmw did not tell the owners of potentially affected models to immediately bring their cars in for service. when we went undercover at bmw dealers, they said there was nothing to worry about. >> if it was that big of an issue, there would have been an actual recall. >> reporter: but when abc news asked about the hundreds of complaints, bmw acknowledged they'd been struggling to find a way to actually fix the problem, and they know people might be worried.
what do you say to those people who say there's nothing safe about this? i thought i was going to die, i thought my daughter might die, this is an unsafe car. >> well, it's unfortunate that the failure of the pump caused that feeling and we certainly can sympathize with that. people have different expectations. >> reporter: bmw now seems to be trying to meet those expectations, although they say they know of no injuries due to this problem. they are recalling as many as 130,000 cars from 2007 to 2010 equipped with the n-54 twin turbo engine. >> we understand that people are feeling uncomfortable with the situation and people want to know more, so we're taking action as quickly as possible. >> reporter: a little bit of that abc urgency. >> that caused us to decide to take action sooner, rather than later. >> reporter: but some owners say the company should have done more, sooner. >> they shouldn't be preying on the public when they know something is seriously wrong. >> reporter: chris cuomo, abc news, new york. >> and for details on the recall, go to
abcnews.com/worldnews and chris will have more tonight on "nightline." and coming up, is it really true that men refuse to ask for directions? well, science weighs in with the proof. a reliable financial partner. one who can stay in sync with their moves. my job at ge capital is to get bobcat all the financial and business support they need. we provide financing for every bobcat dealer in north america. together, we've rolled out over 100,000 machines to small businesses all over the country so they too can grow. ♪ ge capital. we're there for bobcat every step of the way. ♪ nothing beats prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn free for a full 24 hours. prevent the acid that causes frequent heartburn with prevacid®24hr, all day, all night. nothing works better.
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once again, overseas, china flexed its engineering muscle today. a new high speed train made its debut, appears to have set a world record. officials say the train now fastest on the globe. top speed, 262 miles per hour. passengers took a lightning fast ride, 126 miles in just 45 minutes. cut the travel time in half. and china plans on doubling its high speed rail network over the next two years. and a reminder to everyone there, not only does china have the fastest train, but as we know, the fastest growing economy and in just 20 days, "world news" is going to be taking you there to ask some burning questions about china and what is really going on. go to abcnews.com for more on our trip. and the story we told you about. for anyone that's tried to get a husband or dad to pull over and ask for directions, a new
british study says that when men get lost, a quarter of them wait at least half an hour before asking for help. men wrack up nearly 300 extra miles on the road each year as a result of this. and by the way, nearly three quarters of women ask for directions right away. discuss among yourselves. and, she's being called a modern day annie oakley. offdie duty policewoman farris jones was having her hair done in a beauty salon in new york when a gunman tried to rob the store. the quick-thinking cop drew her weapon, fired five shots, knocking the gun out of the suspect's hand, and jamming the front door, trapping the suspect. it was the first time in her 20-year career jones had fired her weapon in the line of duty, and today, she was promoted. and coming up, from the women's conference here in california, some wisdom from some pioneers. brain? it's true. an irregular heartbeat,
called atrial fibrillation, or afib, can make a blood clot form, here, in your heart, that can break free and go straight to your brain where it can cause a serious stroke. having atrial fibrillation gives you a 5 times greater risk of stroke than if you didn't have it. strokes that are twice as likely to be deadly or severely disabling as other types of strokes. if you, or someone you care for, have atrial fibrillation, even if you're already taking medication, there are still important things you'll want to know. for a free interactive book call 1-877-afib-stroke, or log onto afibstroke.com. learn more about the connection between atrial fibrillation and strokes, and get advice on how to live with afib. and with this valuable information in your hand, talk to your doctor. call 1-877-afib-stroke today. don't freak, it's gone. who did it? i did. with ortho home defense max. guaranteed to kill the mouse.
you just throw it away. no mess, no drama. our state is in a real mess. and i'm not going to give you any phony plans or snappy slogans that don't go anywhere. we have to make some tough decisions. we have to live within our means. we have got to take the power from the state capitol and move it down to the local level, closer to the people. and no new taxes, without voter approval. we have got to pull together not as republicans or as democrats
but as californians first. at this stage in my life, i'm prepared to do exactly that. as we said, 30,000 people gathered here in california today to hear from a pantheon of pioneers, a conference led by the exiting first lady of california, maria shriver, and you'll hear some of what she said in a moment, too, but on the stage, men, women and among them, two women whose faces are etched in america's mt. rushmore of achievement and pioneering equality. supreme cou supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg and former justin sandra day o'connor. together, they spent the way paving the way for three women now on the court. have you thought, how many women is enough? >> nine. >> reporter: oh. oh.
>> we're not there yet. >> well, there have been nine men there for a long, long time, right? so why not nine women? >> reporter: we also asked the justices to give some advice to the thousands in the room. what should they be sure to do and what should they not? >> don't react in anger. if you think you're not being understood or you're being put down because you're a woman, have a sense of humor. know that you will not be successful in your mission if you say, oh, you sexist pig. >> well, you may have to have some arguments at times with people, and it's okay to say what you think, but having done that, don't keep it up. just shut up and go on. >> the best advice i ever got, and it came from my mother-in-law on the day of my
marriage, we were married in her home, she called me into the bedroom and she said, dear, i want to tell you something that will stand you in good stead. and that is, in every happy marriage, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. >> yes. and that is advice -- >> yes. >> that i follow not only in my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues. >> that's right. >> first, on the things i'd like to admit today, i was wrong to try to talk arnold out of running for governor seven years ago. and he was right not to listen to me. when i expressed that fear to my mother back then, she said to me, in no uncertain times, do not ever stand in the way of a person's dream. you can go ahead and say what you think, but then shut up.
she went on to tell me, just let it unfold. let it play out. you're going to learn a lot about life and yourself in the process. and then after arnold won, she said, now you have a job to do. go and do it and do it well. finish it properly and when it's over, you can move onto something else. in the meantime, i don't want to hear another yip out of you. well, it turns out that my mother was right. >> reporter: maria's mother, eunice this leashriver, died la. >> she would always say, whatever you decide to do, do it well, finish it properly and then you can feel free to move on. >> some rare personal conversations from some people we know well. that's it for us from california tonight.
present or probation? tonight possible punishment facing a possible bart oofser in the shooting death. >> and karly fiorina. what took her off the campaign trail today. >> talking about where governor brown stands on the issues. >> and meg whitman refaus -- refuse taz take the bait and eliminate negative ads from the governor's race. >> and fans with giants fever. tonight the benefits of hosting the world series. >> good evening, we going to start with a story that most people are talking about tonight. the world series. >> game one to. giants fans can't wait. and team coverage for the ballpark tonight. first to leigh glaser